The Jungle

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Baby Antanas, named for Jurgis's late father, is the only child of Ona and Jurgis. After Ona's death, he is the light of Jurgis's life, and his sole motivation to work. However, in a freak accident, Antanas drowns in a muddy street. The baby's death strips Jurgis of the little meaning that remained in his life and sends him into a period of deep crisis.

Antanas Rudkus Quotes in The Jungle

The The Jungle quotes below are all either spoken by Antanas Rudkus or refer to Antanas Rudkus. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of The Jungle published in 2001.
Chapter 16 Quotes

They put him in a place where the snow could not beat in, where the cold could not eat through his bones; they brought him food and drink—why, in the name of heaven, if they must punish him, did they not put his family in jail and leave him outside—why could they find no better way to punish him than to leave three weak women and six helpless children to starve and freeze? That was their law, that was their justice!

Related Characters: Jurgis Rudkus, Ona Lukoszaite, Marija Berczynskas, Teta Elzbieta Lukoszaite, Antanas Rudkus
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:

Jurgis is thrown in jail for beating up Phil Connor, the businessman who's been abusing his wife in return for keeping the family employed. Jurgis is furious when he realizes that, all things considered, jail isn't such a bad place to be: he's warm and dry, and he gets food and water. Jurgis wonders why his wife and children haven't been sent to jail in his place--surely such an arrangement would be more "just" than their current situation.

The passage underscores the social injustices of Jurgis's world. On the surface of things, it's the "right" thing to send Jurgis to jail for violence. And yet courts can only go so far in enforcing justice: the lawmen who send Jurgis to jail know nothing of his starving wife, Connor's corruption, etc. Society's idea of justice is, it must be said, unjust.

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Chapter 21 Quotes

The little fellow was now really the one delight that Jurgis had in the world—his one hope, his one victory…He was a terrible child to manage, was Antanas, but his father did not mind that —he would watch him and smile to himself with satisfaction. The more of a fighter he was the better—he would need to fight before he got through.

Related Characters: Jurgis Rudkus, Antanas Rudkus
Page Number: 174
Explanation and Analysis:

Jurgis doesn't have his beloved wife, Ona, anymore, but he continues to turn to his family for love and support. Jurgis's reason for living is now his little son, Antanas. Antanas is a tough child--he's bad all the time, and needs a lot of attention. But Jurgis doesn't mind in the least--he loves Antanas unconditionally, and clings to him as his last "delight" in life. Furthermore, Jurgis seems to respect Antanas for being so wild: he recognizes that Antanas's spirit might help him succeed later on.

The passage is inspiring insofar as it shows Jurgis getting over his depression and finding a new reason to live. Immigrants like Jurgis endure a great deal of hardship, especially in the kinds of situations Sinclair describes, but Jurgis finds the strength to carry on. (As we soon learn, however, Jurgis's newfound confidence in his family is short-lived.)

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Antanas Rudkus Character Timeline in The Jungle

The timeline below shows where the character Antanas Rudkus appears in The Jungle. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...Jurgis grew up in the Imperial Forest region of Lithuania, the son of a peasant, Antanas Rudkus. He met Ona at a horse-fair, fell in love with her, and devoted himself... (full context)
Chapter 10
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
Ona gives birth to a baby boy, Antanas. The baby renews Jurgis's devotion to his family. Ona has to go back to work... (full context)
Chapter 11
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...starve. Jurgis lies in bed in anguish and fear. His only relief is his son Antanas. (full context)
Chapter 14
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
Baby Antanas comes down with a number of diseases, including scarlet fever. Despite his miserable condition, he... (full context)
Chapter 21
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
Baby Antanas has learned to talk, and Jurgis loves him unconditionally. Jurgis, too, has taken to reading... (full context)
The Dehumanizing Evils of Capitalism Theme Icon
The Immigrant Experience and Disillusionment Theme Icon
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...confronted by a chaotic scene, reminiscent of when Ona died. He then learns that Baby Antanas has drowned in the rainy street. (full context)
Chapter 22
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...feels liberated, though not completely so: he is occasionally tormented by memories of Ona and Antanas. (full context)
Family, Masculinity, and Individualism Theme Icon
...a rainstorm, he takes shelter with a Slavic family. Their baby boy reminds him of Antanas, and Jurgis breaks down in tears. He runs out into the storm and cries in... (full context)